This will blow your mind. We need to do something about this.
First, click on this link and read this short article from the Daily Nebraskan. Make sure to leave a comment in the combox.
Next, email both the writer Kyle Citta and the Editor Hilary Stohs-Krause at the following address to let them know how you feel about this garbage: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Third, somebody send the link of this article to Fr. Z to get his commentary on it.
Fourth, forward this stupid letter to everybody you know and encourage them to complain about it.
People can't continue to get away with saying such stupid things in public. I emailed Mr. Citta and told him he was lucky Catholics were so "indulgent" (yuck yuck) with people who attack our faith- try writing something like that about Muslim tradition and see what happens!
Thanks. As a native Nebraska Catholic, this is embarrassing and insulting.
"Buying into this crap is a risky proposition" - This sums up your article.
What if, instead of having the intensely satisfying experience of bouncing off a few walls and then encouraging our BFF's to let those yahoos in Nebraska know we FEEL, we tried to write to them a cogent response addressing some of the knotty issues they raise, including
how is it the Church doesn't have the authority to remit eternal punishment but does have the authority to remit temporal punishment ?
if the Church isn't still selling indulgences why does it, nonetheless, accept charitable contributions as consideration for indulgences ?
how does the Church judge when to provide a plenary vs a partial indulgence ?
It's not inconceivable that maybe one or two reading the Daily Nebraskan might actually learn something from such a substantive response from Unam Sanctam readers to the challenging (even for Catholics) issues underlying that kid's sophmoric rant.
But I guess I missed that part where we're taught that it's better to bitch and moan when unfairly criticized rather than to step up to the plate and to share (and explain) our faith with someone that might benefit from (might even be saved by) understanding it.
Hey Anoymous, who ever said the response couldn't be cogent or well thought out? I think you have a great idea, but I never said we should just "bitch" without explaining anything. Perhaps it's my fault for using the word "feel" instead of "think."
Here's a copy of the email I sent, in which I was respectful but didn't really bother to explain anything (laregly because I did not have the time, especially with something like Indulgences):
To the Editor:
Kyle Citta's article on Indulgences was the absolute worst article on a Catholic issue I have ever seen. His comments made it painfully obvious that he did not even do the most basic research into the topic (else he would have known that indulgences have never gone away at all) and showed no interest in getting to the truth of the matter.
Indulgences are one of the most complex issues of Catholic theology and ought not to be talked about so flippantly by somebody who has absolutely no understanding of what they are. I am horrified that this kind of writing made it to print - not because I disagree with Mr Citta, but because he simply has his facts horribly wrong.
One good thing about this is that it happened in the Diocese of Lincoln which has a reputation for correction and is the diocese of the FSSP seminary and of course Bishop Bruskewitz.
Sorry for apparently misunderstanding what you meant, Boniface.
All I noticed in your posting was your call "to let them know how you feel about this garbage" (sounds sort of angry) and your declaration that "people can't continue to get away with saying such stupid things in public" (sounds vaguely threatening).
And then I didn't see anything in your posting suggesting that you or your readers might try to educate Mr. Citta in the theology and history of indulgences so that he might be fairer next time (or, mirabile dictu, maybe even print a retraction of his first article).
And then I read in your posting that you had gone so far as to personally e-mail Citta a sarcastic remark about "indulgent" Catholics (implying that we may get angry, but not violent, about blasphemers) - if there was something constructive you chose to share with him in that e-mail, you didn't mention it.
And now I see your letter to his editor, in which you attacked (mostly justifiably, it sure seems) Citta's journalistic skills, fact-checking, motivations, and work-product, but you didn't choose to address, even superficially, any of the substantive issues raised in the article (other than the continuity of the existence of indulgences) or even suggest to where Citta or the editor might go to get reliable answers to these "complex issues of Catholic Theology".
Anyhow, all we (and Citta and his editor) have to understand what you intend in situations like this is what you appear to be saying with the words you use.
To people who don't know on how many fronts you're simultaneously operating, your words look like those of somebody that, at the time the posting was made and the e-mails sent, primarily was angry about one more publication by yet another irreverent jack-ass that misrepresents on so many levels an important part of the Catholic faith and you wanted them to shut-up and understand they had disrespected the wrong tribe.
I'm down with that.
I just think we should try to do better.
I know this blog is frequented by folks that probably have a greater interest in abstract theology than applied Christianity. But, if it turns out that we are not equally gifted with the capability to have a constructive dialogue with others outside the faith on matters of doctrine, we would well serve the Church by sticking to conversations with ourselves.
Otherwise, guys like Citta and his editor will assume from our blunt outbursts that the Church has become some sort of refuge for some blend of the credulously humble, unthinking traditionalists, and effete theologians unwilling to spend any of their time explaining Catholic doctrine to non-believers.
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